Prospect Profile: Virgil Vasquez

Unlike some of the other top pitching prospects in the organization, Virgil Vasquez doesn't have dominant stuff that can shut down the opposition. But that didn't stop Vasquez from using excellent control that resulted in the most wins of anyone in the organization.

Virgil Vasquez
Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-3 Weight: 205
Born: 6/7/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Virgil was an All-State (California) third baseman and pitcher his final two years at Santa Barbara High School, where during his senior season he posted a 12-1 record with a 2.08 ERA. As a freshman at the University of California – Santa Barbara, Vasquez posted a 3.95 ERA in 68 innings as the Gauchos mid-week starter. Vasquez was a solid weekend starter for UCSB during his sophomore and junior seasons, and was taken in the 7th round by the Detroit Tigers. This was the second time Virgil was taken in the 7th round, as the same was done by the Cincinnati Reds during the 2000 draft. After struggling through his first professional season in the New York-Penn League, Vasquez became the anchor of the 2004 Midwest League Champion, West Michigan pitching staff, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 27 starts.

Scouting Report
Vasquez uses an average repertoire and exceptional control to make himself a very effective starter. When his control is off even a little bit, Vasquez struggles to get hitters out. He doesn't have the pure "stuff" to control a game without above average command of all his pitches. Virgil was aided some by the large dimensions and pitcher friendly environments present throughout the Midwest League, but he still managed to give up 14 homeruns in only 168 innings. While not terrible, homerun rates like that in the low minors are not terribly encouraging. As Vasquez continues to adjust to the professional game, he is likely to see continued success as he progresses through the system. Virgil is a heady player, with a good understanding of the game, and a willingness to continue to refine his craft. Without the arsenal of a dominant pitching prospect, Vasquez will not garner the attention due his impressive season, but he will continue to move up in the organization, and get a crack at a Major League job down the line.

Performance

Year

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

2004

West Michigan

14-6

3.64

27

27

0

120

34

168.1

1.13


Health Record
Virgil has been healthy and pain free so far in his career.

The Future
Vasquez will likely be one of the large cast of pitchers vying for spots in the Lakeland rotation in 2005. Teaming up with 2004 draftees Justin Verlander and Eric Beattie, along with fellow West Michigan graduates Brian Rogers, Jordan Tata, Christhian Martinez, and Danny Zell, the 2005 Lakeland staff could be very dominating. Vasquez will turn 23 in June, and could see time in Erie if he pitches well. The organization has no need to rush him, but continued success could force their hand. Vasquez is an intriguing prospect who could surprise with a breakthrough season in 2005.


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